Winter Thermostat Temperature
We are often asked, "What temperature should I set my thermostat at in the winter?" It's a good question, with an obvious answer of – it depends on you. But there are some guidelines you can use to determine what your ideal winter thermostat temperature is.
A good question to ask yourself is, "What indoor temperature is going to keep my family comfortable and at what cost?" We know warmer doesn't always mean better, but it does always mean more expense.
Winter Thermostat Settings
We rely on our heating systems for much of the year in Upstate New York. So "winter" can sometimes feel like over half of the year. January and February lows often dip below 0 degrees with wind chills in frostbite territory. That's what we like to call brrr chill cold!
During the day, when you are awake, 68 degrees should be comfortable for you and your family. This will keep your pipes warm and your toes toasty. Nighttime, when you are asleep, is the right time to lower your thermostat a degree or two and get snuggled in under the blankets. By lowering the temperature on your thermostat for 8 hours or so, you'll cut your energy costs and lessen the work load on your home heating system.
Away Thermostat Settings
Similarly, your night thermostat setting is an ideal temperature to set your thermostat at when no one is home. At work? Away for the day? Lower it a few degrees.
Setting A Programmable Thermostat
If you have a programmable thermostat, now is the time to take advantage of it! Have a smart thermostat? It should have learned what you like on it's own, but it's smart to review what those settings are set at.
When you are programming your thermostat, think about your day-to-day schedule. Set your bedtime setting to the temperature you like to sleep at scheduled for about an hour before you typically go to bed. Your house will naturally cool down ahead of sleep, you'll save money, and be more comfortable.
Another temperature setting you should plan for is vacancy. When your home is empty for 4 or more hours, set your thermostat lower. Again, if you kick the thermostat settings back up about an hour before you come home, you'll be comfortable. A basic rule of thumb is adjusting the thermostat 5-8 degrees lower can help save you energy if you're going to be away for several hours.
No matter what settings you decide on, adjusting your thermostat manually or programming it accordingly will ultimately help keep your family comfortable and your costs down. You might be surprised that small changes to settings can provide you the same comfort, with big cost benefits.